Dubai: The Philippines is now open for business — with foreigners now allowed to own up to 100% of companies in key industries.
And the easing of ownership restrictions in retail, telecom, airlines, airports, railways could open up fresh opportunities for businesses based in the UAE and the Gulf.
These were highlighted in a presentation made here by Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, given the recent economic reforms undertaken by the Duterte government.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary is currently in Dubai promoting his country as a “premium” investment destination. Lopez made the pitch during the Country Business Briefing at Expo 2020 on Friday (February 11, 2022).
In his meeting with business executives in Dubai, Lopez said the Philippine government has been pushing to open up of the country’s economy. There are two “aces”, or developments cited by the government:
First, the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalisation Act (RTLA) had been enacted into law. The passage of Republic Act 11595, which became a law on January 21, 2022, amended the RTLA of 2000.
The move is hoped to bring in the much-needed investments in the country’s retail trade, including supermarkets and consumer electronics — a moved hope to bring down the cost of consumer goods in more parts of the country.
Job creation outside Metro Manila is also being touted, as competition in the retail sector shifts and expands to the provinces. The amended law prioritising employment of Filipino nationals.